Ole joyful's Christmas message
Greetings to all of you, relatives and valued friends,
I find that many of my concerns are as in earlier years: don't tell me that I'm in a rut (the difference between which and a grave is claimed to be mainly length).
It's been nearly eight years at Uncle Stuart's farm and I figure that I can stay here as long as I can drive: hitchhiking 15 km (10 mi) to the village and 25km (16 mi) to the city in winter isn't fun. I've said for some time that several singles, especially seniors sharing housing makes a lot of sense: shared talk helps keep Alzheimers at bay; shared chores are much less onerous; the inmates would eat better; triaged care is available if one can call, and there's major financial savings (more than enough to have a housekeeper).
Landlord ploughed largest garden ever, over 3/4 mile of row ... but peas grew spottily, no cauliflower, some blight of melons, squash. Take to 2 churches: I sang in Lambeth United Church choir before my voice changed. I ask increased contribution there, also to social agencies, son and landlord ... and I mainly eat what's left!
Rather spotty success at cutting down on possessions, which occupy garage, barn and shed. Probably many seniors, having cleared many possessions during downsizing, would appreciate visits from family, friends rather than more things. Some friends say that there seem to be more obituaries ... but I laugh and say to be glad that they can ... for one of these days they won't be able to ... when it's their turn! Isn't it rather strange ... that Christians tell of what a great place Heaven is ... but few appear to be in any hurry to get there?!
My little old Mazda, over 1/4 my age, didn't quite make age 25 (200kmi) before being driven to the scrapyard. Now have an '05 Chevy Cobalt, about 100k km (62k mi) ... but when I turn off key to coast, to a traffic signal, or downhill, if no car behind, the lying speedometer tells me that I'm not moving! Does give me extra info: door open, temp, "Ice possible", fuel low, etc.
Here's a passion for you! Seventy years ago they had one-horse drawn covered wagons hauling bread, milk and ice in the city, to put into ice boxes in kitchens (we farmers kept perishables in a pan of cold water in the basement). Sixty years ago, they started to build fridges; of the ones built 50 years ago, many lasted for 40 years. The ones built today last for about 10 years - and at that point in my story, many add the same 3-word contribution: "If you're lucky!"! Modern engineers are stupider, it appears (or builders greedier?). Think of the precious energy, the pollution and contribution to global warming of the digging of ore, smelting, shaping and assembly (with a bunch of petroleum-sourced plastic added) and all of the interim hauling to get it to retailers ... and recycle when it dies: build it better initially!! (I live close to Toronto's garbage dump).
No one that I know will put a noose around his/her own neck ... but living without a financial cushion in case of income loss is about equal - and if your hands are free, you can remove a rope noose quickly and easily: not so a financial noose. Being required to make a number of payments with no cushion gets scarey when one's laid off: losing a car, home, etc. due to non-payment really hurts. Plus, few wage increases recently ... but prices keep increasing. Tell friends that you care about ... to build a financial cushion: avoid the noose (says this old financial advisor)! And plan/fund ahead for retirement: start early.
No Georgia/Niagara peach has ever appeared in your upraised hand out of thin air (unless you're standing under a peach tree): it takes roots, trunk, branches and leaves to develop nutrients and water to make one. "Peach" and "peace" have only the final letter variant. The young folks can hold up their fingers in the shape of a "V" all they like ... but peace is costly! Lacking the roots of justice, trunk of compassion, branches of cooperation and leaves of kindness - Peace just ain't gonna happen!
I'm thankful to be enjoying good health - on three pills: the Warfarin for the clots, the diuretic for the varicose veins and a recent addition of glucosamine sulphate to enhance cartilage to deal with the arthritis. I find that I can�t remember words, or names, when I need them. And when some of my younger friends make similar complaints ... I assure them that it gets worse with advancing age. Doc said he plans to retire in 20013 ... within 10 min. ... in 2014 ... I asked him if he was sure that he had it all together. Next visit I told him to be sure to tell me which ... as I figured that I'd have to die first! WHY'S THAT? You know how hard it is to find a doc, these days!
I hope that this year has brought the fulfillment of some of your worthwhile dreams ... and that the new year will bring some more ... plus the envisioning of some new ones.